December 12, 2004

On being well-read

Posted by shonk at 04:18 AM in Economics | TrackBack

Mark Edmundson, who’s admonishing people to read more, apparently has never heard of Friedrich Hayek:

[BRIAN] LAMB: Here’s an older book spoken about by Milton Friedman, on the other side.



MILTON FRIEDMAN, AUTHOR AND ECONOMIST: It’s a book well worth reading by anybody, because it’s a very subtle analysis of why, how it is that well-meaning people who intend only to improve the lot of their fellows, tend to favor courses of action which have exactly the opposite effect.

I think in my, from my point of view, the most interesting chapter in that book is one labeled, why the worst rise to the top.


LAMB: He’s talking about “Road to Serfdom” - Hayek - a bible for people on the conservative political side.

EDMUNDSON: I’m glad to know about it. Until this moment, I’ve heard nothing about it. But I will write it down and give it a look.

I’d say Billy Beck has a point:

How on earth do Americans get to that man’s point in life without knowing about “The Road To Serfdom”? How does that happen?

Are they all going to college, or what?

Screw college; The Road to Serfdom ought to be required reading in high school. As I recall, I first read it in about 8th or 9th grade when my father recommended it, along with Eric Hoffer’s The True Believer. Good parenting, that.

Of course, given that Hayek’s critiques are especially relevant to the school system (my god, have you met some of the people in charge of the schools where you live?), it should be no surprise that it’s not.

(Incidentally, I should point out that Lamb is delusional if he thinks The Road to Serfdom is actually a “bible for people on the conservative political side”; ’twould be nice, but it ain’t so)